Saturday, 21 June 2014

Sanchez the answer to pace problems?

It's been a fine week of football. A World Cup threatening to wilt away after Cesc's departure stealing the headlines and a pretty dire opening ceremony made me concerned. Were Brazil about to rob us of the greatest footballing event on the planet?

Absolutely not! The football has been fantastic, France have been doing excellent, and big teams are falling. Goals are pouring in from everywhere except Iran, my Fantasy team is doing brilliant (12th in the League as I speak). There really couldn't be a better distraction to keep my mind occupied for the off-season.

Yet, there is Arsenal stuff too. Le Grove revealed we're hard in for Reus and Sanchez. If it's true, it displays remarkable ambition by Wenger. I might have underestimated him. Maybe the FA Cup has given the guy a ruthless edge in the market. Good to see IF TRUE.

I have triple confirmation on Alexis. A good friend deep into the Arsenal community, a confidential transfer source and now Le Grove have as good as confirmed concrete Arsenal interest in Sanchez. To quote Mackenzie McHale from The Newsroom, "It's a completely unbelievable story, but I can't ignore evidence."

I got nothing on Reus, though, and I don't see it happening even if we are interested.

Honestly, I don't know much about Sanchez. I caught a glimpse of him in the World Cup against 5PA1N, and he looked pretty lively. He has pace, of course - truckloads of it. Christ knows we need that now.

Sanchez would fit in like a glove. He, along with Walcott, would be zooming on the wings, enhancing Ozil's creative hunger. I really feel we wouldn't need a striker that badly if Arsene manages to lure Sanchez. He'd be a terrific addition to converting to wing play.

If there's any lesson to be learnt from this World Cup, it's that possession football has well and truly died. I've been saying (for a year now) that Arsenal should be giving wing-play more importance to tiki-taka football. Sanchez would be a massive step in achieving that.

I'm a bit exhausted of repeating my footballing ideology, but I'll say it once more. In a wing-play system, it doesn't matter whether your striker is world-class or not, as long as he can match the pace of explosive wingers beside him and finish neatly. Look at Madrid. Look at Bayern with Gomez.


Real with Ronaldo and Bale made Benzema one of the most feared strikers. Did you see the guy's confidence? He's killing it in the World Cup. Bayern with Robben and Ribery did the same with Gomez, and Mandzukic, to an extent. Pires and Ljungberg (who, sadly, aren't given much credit for their contributions) made Thierry... well, Henry was already pretty legendary, wasn't he?

Point being, Walcott and Sanchez and Chamberlain and Podolski and Cazorla and upcoming Gnabry are bloody exciting options on the wings. Giroud wouldn't match up to their speed - we need someone who can. I'm not even looking for something marquee, even though the Balotelli rumours excite me. I'd be fine with a Loic Remy.

I'm almost confident that Wenger is going for Sanchez, three sources can't be that coincidential. It looks like the manager is targeting pace, which is wise. That would invariably make Ramsey, Cazorla and Ozil the attacking fulcrum of our team.

I don't want to hype things up, but if we pull this off, I'd argue we'd be on an even footing with Chelsea. I still don't think it'll materialize, but I'm heartened to see Wenger go big for once, that too early in the window.

Play the waiting game for now? Sure.

-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ArsenalBlogz]

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